A Country Estate
The Douglases made a series of significant changes that transformed the property into a model country estate. They expanded the acreage from ten to 33 and added many of the physical features still visible today.
The entrance to the estate was moved to Linden Drive, allowing visitors views of the landscape while traveling along a curvilinear drive that snaked through the property.
As per the design, visitors still pass through the wild area of native timber prior to coming upon a man-made, kidney-shaped pond. The Formal Garden tames nature just before the showcase, the Mansion, is revealed.
Irene was an active and knowledgeable gardener. Under her direction, the Formal Garden design focused on perennial beds surrounded by a rustic trellis, a grape arbor, and a brick terrace.
Irene also added specialty gardens that were popular at the time. A Night Garden of white plantings and furniture was constructed south of the Formal Garden with an entrance marked by brick steps. She had wildflowers added to the wooded section near Linden Drive to make a "wild" garden. A Cutting Garden along Dows Lane provided fresh flowers for arrangements and gifts.
The Douglases purchased a Lord & Burnham Greenhouse in 1915 to sustain the increased gardening operations.